Finance Punk / Omnicringe Manifesto | Barrett Avner

Guest Column #010

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Cringe is transcendental. Transcendental Cringe is when something is so bad it tears a hole through the fabric of spectacle to reveal a pure imminent truth. You are not a $ubject. Can you feel the stillness of the universe, the stillness of others? This is what genesis looks like. Do you really think this song is about you? 

Post-artist Alex Bienstock (also known as ESCBAS) may be the progenitor of the joke concept known as Finance Punk. We have been memetically pushing this and narrativising it in particular ways (mostly for our personal amusement and for fun).

Here is the official Urban Dictionary definition:

Neologisms like Finance Punk, Transcendental or Post-Cringe, Post-Art, and Quirked Up Shawty are merely framing mechanisms to narrativise narrative collapse. R.I.P Finance Punk. You are now haunted by the Spectre of Finance Punk. A Quirked Up Shawty will sprinkle her BFF’s ashes as she performs a sleep paralysis séance on you at dusk for not believing any of this. 

The field of biology known as epigenetics deals with heritable phenotype changes that don’t involve altering the DNA sequence. The difference between epigenesis and genesis in Kant denotes a basic incapacity for preformation; the idea that no germ exists (though this is preformationism anyway). In This Study, we find Life borrows from mechanisms to avoid be[com]ing mechanical. But where is spontaneity sourced?

The dialectical formula starts to shrink. Being a supersmart galaxy brain sharing why you are right and the other is wrong is a futile exercise in light of the Absolute. These procedures don’t care if you are right or wrong. Really. You need them more than they need you. They are inputting user codes while your input as a gesture of the infinite Turing machine has spun itself into twilight. Why is your dumb conversation more correct than any formal computation or 111: trusting your gut and listening to your heart? Is @outsideness correct when he claims that the blockchain solves the problem of space & time? It doesn’t matter. Really. Because it helps us relinquish the idea that we or you or anyone is absolute and universal.  

Non-local or agent-contingent variants of intelligence are demanding that we reconcile with the kinds of intelligences that were already made universal. The basic claim that allocates all reason to the social, sapient and dialectical is now shattering. As we know, DAO is in itself a manner of non-fungibility. Inflation goes to 0% and 0% also equals infinity. So much for wanting a centralised economy: BTC solves the problem of the NFT.

Post-artists acknowledge that literally nothing is art. Really. NFTs aren’t art. It’s all just money, nothing fundamentally new about it. People lament the artist giving way to “creator,” but a creator is the most beautiful thing anyone can be. Really. What is inherently wrong with this? 

Just as Finance Punk made it to word-of the-day on Urban Dictionary and was gaining marginal traction in certain ethereal spaces, Alex Bienstock declared Finance Punk dead. It thus became the Spectre of Finance Punk, wherein the First Finpunk Schism of Bienstock and Avner would eventually result in an intergalactic war thousands of years from now. 

Then came the Omnicringe, which is apparently not transcendental at all. After a Laruellian fashion it is, as Bienstock describes, the “Negative-One and traverses all Affect-Sensation”. It’s so metacringe that it’s essentially a non-cringe ontology. “The Omnicringe has no superego, because the Id is dead and there are no more humans or nature.” It exists as pure dummy data.

Being Malabou-pilled, one slight disagreement I have with this is that one can’t relinquish the transcendental, despite the Omnicringe’s Big Dick Energy. It seeks Negative-One but, does it hit it? It doesn’t even matter. Really. Because it’s a baller-ass theory.

In the first Covidian year of 2020, new historical processes befell the spectacle one by one. Every single cultural movement mimic’d a virus. Maybe history was the virus we made all along, from viral protests™ to viral democracy to wearing three masks alone in carbon-neutral vehicles to the NFTification of all that could have been but really wasn’t really. The Earthly Palingenisis angle that walks hand in hand with history, described as a return to the Baroque that fuses exhibitions of enchantment with the plain, boring austerity that Borrimini countered. 

The upholders of 20th century modernism constantly serve up an imaginary world of green room safety despite the baroque paradoxes they in fact inhabit, littered with everything from selective moral indignation about Covid to girlboss gatekeeping at tedious, tone-deaf, lifeless White House press conferences. An endless circlejerk of platitudes taken for secular hymns, compounded with the federal regulation of nicotine in tobacco. If one accepts what little time we have left, can we have some fun? Sexy Fun Time really does address the problem of space & time: it gives one even one more time. 

Maybe it's aphasia, maybe it’s being retarded. This may explain the overcorrecting concern with what must be done, not what is done to you. This is a limiting effect, a binding of the Cultural Matrix. 

Shari Lewis, the creator of the children’s show Lamb Chop, said her goal for the audience is “participation, not passive observance... our goal is, don't just sit there—come play with me.” She wanted to “attack the shorter attention span of today's children with a fast-paced show using colorful electronic effects…I know that when children watch TV, they go into a stupor. Parents think (their children) are interested, but what they really are is [bored].”

You are not a ($)ubject. As to whether you are or aren’t one, your primary concern is to have fun, exude joy and be[come] yourself. Solving the problem of space & time can wait behind the curtains of eternal sleep. No problem. Really.


Madoff / Finance Punk meme by Alex Bienstock.


Barrett Avner is a self-described “post-cringe renaissance man” and creator of the Contain podcast/multimedia platform. Follow @contain___ on IG @con_tain on Twitter.